Thursday, August 7, 2014

Chicken Run Ideas

If you've been keeping up, you know I've been collecting a few more chickens. This time Bantams. I can't believe how easier they are to keep. And, QUIETER! Well, why not? It makes sense. Smaller bird. However, I've noticed their appetite is much more than the larger fowl. 

To get to the subject of this post, I had an old, run down, cut apart tractor I knew I could use IF and when I found the right birds for my collection. (Ha! Collection! HA! Obsession is more like it...) After the quarantine and introductory period, I'd house them with the big girls (in the big house) Well, that didn't work out so, I decided to build an area strictly for the Banties. 

First, I gathered all the old run pieces and materials I had - temporarily giving them a secure area to roam. Next, I'd work out a plan and implement a design for said area. I built their very own coop (The Bantam Barn) and constructed an area next to the large fowl. There's actually 2 posts covering the Barn. The link is the finished product. Feel free to journey further back on my blog and check the entire build. 

A little unsightly but, it's secure and serves them well. It doesn't however, serve me well. Getting in and around is difficult. Plus, in the event, crawling around in chicken dirt, is not my idea of a fun hobby. My planning/thinking stage for a permanent design is still in progress, here. 
An idea came to mind and I've built the first installment. Of course, clutter from the build and rework is always hard on the eyes. Eventually, I'll have an 8' X 8' area for them AND me to get around in. This 4' X 8' area finished, I can now easily enter and lock the barn up for the night. 
Another angle. I'm extending the taller portion out to just before this octagonal table. I'm thinking about leaving this 2' section as is and incorporate some sort of shady area for them. OR, go with the 8 X 8 area and do away with that section, all together. 
I've run into a wall. Do I save the 2' X 8' section and build something above? Or, after the 8' X 8' area is complete, put something inside? I reckon I'm off to Google to solve this. Unless, someone has an idea I might use. No promises.


  1. I always wonder about the two-foot tall or even four-foot tall areas. Eventually, there has been a reason to go into every part of my 10x10 foot pen. Like you, crawling around in dirt where the hens have been is not my idea of fun. Besides, I cannot crawl on the ground even if it were perfectly clean grass.

    I can see the obsession in the amount of real estate the hens get. At least you are cutting down on the area needing mowing.

    Do you not have raccoons that can get under the structures and get the chickens? Or, is their house so secure the raccoons cannot break in?

    1. Did not mean to publish so soon. Since predators can rip out chicken wire, is that hardware cloth or chicken wire? I am certainly not meaning to criticize, but since I remember you have raccoons, I just wonder how you keep them from your chickens. My raccoons are relentless and mean. They don't wander around eating anything if they can get to my hens, which they cannot if I close them up.

    2. I have access doors to the 2' sections but, have had to crawl in there, occasionally. This newer improvement to the banty run is 6', as am i, but will give me the head space required.

      I love to mow the grass but, will give up a little portion for my girls.

      The coon doesn't much care to dig. However, I once had one dig in after a rat tunnel helped him out. (the night I left their entrance open. I'm positive they know when the opportunity is there)

      Otherwise, my coops are locked up tighter'n Dick's hat band at night. Daytime isn't a problem from anything other than hawks but, my runs are covered with wire.

    3. I just mistakenly think I locked up the pen! The hens pay for my mistakes, unfortunately.